‘New Year’s Eve’ can celebrate early

WB pic grosses between $7 million-$8 million Friday, will win the weekend

Warner Bros.’ “New Year’s Eve” is looking to take the number one spot at this weekend’s domestic box office, based on early Friday afternoon figures.

Box office watchers peg the ensemble comedy’s Friday take somewhere between $7 million and $8 million, which would position the Garry Marshall-helmed pic to bow in the high teens to low twenties for the weekend – slightly more modest than expectations in the low to mid twenties.

Meanwhile analysts predict moderate earnings for this weekend’s other opener, 20th Century Fox’s “The Sitter,” estimating that the Jonah Hill-toplined laffer to gross just south of $10 million for the weekend and around $3.5 million for the day.

Disney’s “The Muppets” is expected to hold well, with estimates around $7 million to $8 million for the weekend. Summit’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” is tracking to earn around $9 million for the frame.